House Intelligence Committee Republicans voted to release a memo written by chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, claiming the FBI used the Trump-Russia dossier to obtain FISA wiretaps against American citizens, the committee’s top Dem Adam Schiff told reporters Monday evening.
The Republican majority in the House Intelligence Committee further voted to not allow release of an opposing memo written by Democrats on the committee, Schiff said. At some point the Republicans said they would consider whether to release the minority memo, Schiff said. But, for now, the Republicans idea of “full transparency” means only one side gets heard, Schiff scoffed in a hastily called presser. “This is where we are,” Schiff said, calling is a “very sad day in the history of the House Intel Committee.
The decision to release the memo came despite warning from Associate Attorney General Stephen Boyd, who wrote a letter to the committee calling such a move “extraordinarily reckless.” The Republicans on the committee voted against allowing the FBI and DOJ to review the contents of the memo and advise as to any security risks.
It is now up to President Donald Trump whether the memo gets released. Schiff said he “sadly fully expects the President to not put the national interest over his own personal interest.”
But he said, one Tea Party member of the committee said he was sure Trump would want to release the Republican “spin memo because it was good for him. And that is the standard now for the release of classified information.”
Monday night’s move by Republicans on the committee “does show how, when have deeply flawed person [in the White House] that can infect the whole of government. Today, tragically, it has infected our committee.”
“We need to be concerned not just with this presidency, but the lasting damage done to these institutions,” Schiff said, blasting Nunes’ move a a “circling the wagons” to “distract from the Russia probe.”
“That damage became greater today.”
Schiff reminded reporters it’s not the first time Nunes has done Trump’s bidding. Last April, Nunes recused himself from the committee’s probe into ties between Russia and Trump’s campaign, blaming “several left-wing activist groups” he said “filed accusations against me with the Office of Congressional Ethics.”
That move came amid Dem calls for Nunes to step down, which grew a lot louder after a newspaper report named White House staffers who had facilitated a dramatic dark-of-night dash to the White House by Nunes, to view secret documents.
What made that so embarrassing for Nunes is that he said it had happened the other day around. He’d claimed he discovered discovered docs indicating Trump associates had been swept up in intelligence gathering during President Barack Obama’s administration, had rushed to White House to inform them of the details. Like a Scandal sweep episode.
Anyway, after Nunes announcement, the House Ethics Committee stepped in to elaborate on his “left-wing activist” conspiracy theory, saying it has received a series of complaints alleging “Nunes may have made unauthorized disclosures of classified information” during all that secret-White-House-visit rannygazoo. The committee confirmed it was investigating the guy who was heading the investigation.
Nunes, back in April, issued an I’m a Victim Of Left-Wingers statement, insisted “the charges are entirely false and politically motivated, and are being leveled just as the American people are beginning to learn the truth about the improper unmasking of the identities of the U.S. citizens and other abuses of power.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.